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Lawrence Wright Education. (2013) 'Going Clear Scientology, Hollywood & the Prison of Belief.' New.

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Scientology 51, Hubbard 12, Washington 6, Ron Hubbard 6, L. Ron Hubbard 5, Travolta 4, Irs 4, John Travolta 4, Hollywood 4, Thompson 3, Garcia 2, Navy 2, England 2, Los Angeles 2, Gerald 1, Marty 1, Fbi 1, Elevon Hubbard 1, Abc 1, And Uc 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Lawrence Wright  Education.  (2013) 'Going Clear  
   Scientology, Hollywood & the Prison of Belief.' New.  

    February 16, 2013
    11:00 - 12:00am EST  

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great institution and i have been here many times it has spoken here many times and my son used to be able arista here. we have full ties to politics and prose. there is so much to say about scientology by of in washington which has a unique role i thought i would talk about the history how washington plays into scientology. l. ron hubbard born 1911 and when he was 12 his father was stationed here and was in the navy. he came through the panama canal with his family and that was a memorable trip because there was a figure
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who would change his life and his name was lt. cmdr snake thompson. many people used to say he did not exist but he did. he was a real figure and part of his assignment in the navy he was a spy in japan and also at cat fancier responsible for introducing burmese cats. he actually trained cat is and had a trained cat named psycho. [laughter] young ron hubbard was on this ship and state thompson was just to vienna to talk to freud and is writing an account for the navy and had to do with the mental health of veterans and serving
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military personnel and he had gone to be yet to learn what he could from freudian heaved put this information into the impressionable young man. when they arrive in washington, hubbard is a boy's got in claim to be the and this evil scout ever but regardless of his merits he met calvin coolidge at the white house and went to the library of congress and read up on free trade and state thompson helped him survive. that was a turning point* in his career and it happened here in washington. it is appropriate we meet in the bookstore talking about scientology.
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every movement has a book behind it somebody has written a book but for all ron hubbard that first book was diabetics that came down 1950 and dominated "the new york times" best seller list in the way i hope to emulate [laughter] but so much so it set the category and became so popular in this theory of diabetics his is you can he yourself you a to spend a lot of money but it to the router problems better in a section of your mind called thee reactive mind there
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alba fear and rosie's that have grown and of bad experiences in your lifetime if you can recall them and to lead them of energy you can clear your reactive mind and we rely on your rational mind then when you achieve that state you go clear. that book sold millions of copies in hubbard made millions of dollars and lost them as well even lost control of the name dianetics for a time and he decided there is another way. i jumped ahead and then missed a valuable part that you went to j.w. you. his father wanted him to be an engineer and he had another life in mind for himself.
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president of the gliding club and quite a adventuress character but he didn't finish. he was the miserable student and dropped out after two years although he claims he completed education and civil engineering but he did go on to right to dianetics then he invented the religion scientology. what is it exactly? there is a lot to know about of very eccentric world view and there are many elements in scientology that soundalike science fiction because there were written by someone gave britain something similar.
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that you are an immortal soul. in you have lived before and you will live again scientology helps you to remember the past lifetime it is good news to a lot of people. it is called auditing. the auditor between you and your auditor there is a divide called the of e-meter would hold toucans they used to be campbell's soup there is a wire and a small, not of electricity passing through it is one-third of all lie detector the measure is your skin responses not pulsar restoration but it
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does do something. when you're talking to your auditor the needle is constantly registering. in scientology they think it measures the mass of your thoughts and you can see the movement with the old the painful memory to show up and if you go through this thought and traded of painful qualities then the nato will slow down and pretty soon no longer a fax your behavior. then the next thing is is there an event like that? an argument with your wife another moment that resembles the moment you
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said my mother once said the same thing when i was 10. i will never forget it. that is a vivid memory. talk about it than it calms down and you go back further and further. one of the things that happens hubbard moved again to washington d.c. 1957 around dupont circle i am sure you have noticed one of the historic churches of scientology one of the most beautiful buildings in this neighborhood was the original church of scientology. he and his family lived around the corner. much was invented here. and during that period people had memories in the womb. it was a controversial
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experiment could you really remember that far back? remember arguments here parents had while having intercourse? people were producing memories and they began to have hurt -- memories back up previous lifetimes and hubbard himself began to resist that would eventually he endorsed it wholeheartedly. imagined you have the argument with your spouse spouse, you remember the argument with your mother mother, now suddenly you have an income -- image and the auditor says what is that? i had an image of a farmhouse. look around, what do you see? i see horses, a straw, open
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the door and walked outside. it looks like what i imagine france will look like 17th century. bear in mind that e-meter may say this is real and if you believe that it adds validity to the image that is amplified to of feels like it's a real memory and that becomes a past life this is as real and valid as others in their current existence but think of the knowledge that yes i did live again and i am immortal. also people have the experience of leaving their body is called going exterior. they sense they have floated
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a way they can go to other planets. clear not trying to denigrate the experiences people have insight antilogy one negative scientology but the criticism they may launch will not reach them they had a transforming experience and what you say will not reach them. there are a couple of questions that people ask and i will treat them quickly but i think they are in importuned. was covered crazy? he is often seen that way and did have concerns of his own mental health and wrote to the veterans administration for some
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assistance for psychological assistance but we don't have record he ever got that. many people have given me diagnoses and professionals have said malignant narcissism, a paranoid schizophrenia and certain they look at his behavior and thinking he does show signs of a lot of these things but nobody has ever mapped his own merit -- mortality as l. ron hubbard examining every detail just as a writer and here we are he holds the a "guinness book of world records" and
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continue lee wrote and mostly in scientology was his own interior journey and that is what scientology really is. when you enter the church of scientology is like the end trail into his mind the further you go when, the deeper into l. ron hubbard's mind you go. on the crazy question if we were in another culture, aboriginal culture anthropologist talk of schizophrenia as the shaman disease. those who have experiences in our culture reid would say they're crazy and need medication but in other cultures and times people
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who had extraordinary mental breakdowns come back and feel like they he healed the cells that is the people they go to i think it'll run harvard somehow saw himself that way he had of a theory of his life as the truth that he was so heroic veteran of world war ii and he was so badly injured he was crippled msn could not help him so he developed his own techniques appealing that is what you called in to lew dianetics and the route of scientology. the record shows he was never injured.
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he did have conjunctivitis. [laughter] but there is nothing seriously wrong. the idea of the shaman journey is buried in the legend he created about himself. was see a con man? this is probably the most common perception of the old ron hubbard. i think if he really were he would have taken the money and run. he never did that. he spent his entire existence alone with the cans in his hand staring at the meter trying to fend out what was going on inside the universe of his mind. with a bureaucracy to accept this theology.
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elevon hubbard died 27 years ago today. he was seceded by a young man named david who was 25 years old when hubbard died and he was not the designated successor he shoved aside competitors and resist lee took control of the church. when l. ron hubbard died he made a decision not to pay his taxes for the church of scientology. by 1993 the church owed $1 billion to the irs. it did not have $1 billion that was the existential moment. the church had to get the
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tax exemption and in order to do that it had to get the irs to recognize it as a religion. there is only one agency in the country that can determine if you are a religion and that is the irs. [laughter] an organization ill-equipped to make such distinctions. [laughter] how did the church of scientology acquire that exemption? they began by launching a series of lawsuits against the irs, to do for hundred and individual agents, they hired private detectives to follow them to conventions to see if you was drinking too much for fooling around and they would write about those episodes in their magazine, intimidation, forc
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eful responses to the irs and the iris was brought to its knees it was overwhelmed this cascade of lawsuits but there was a problem the church had that it owed to $1 billion of both entities were at loggerheads. one day david, a current head of the church now was having lunch with gerald one of the attorneys in washington with his wife who represent the church of scientology. they were having lunch at the bombay club. and suddenly it was said look, i've had enough of this, marty and i will go over to the irs and talk to
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the commissioner right now. the lawyers were stunned but indeed they jumped in the cab and went teeeleven 11 constitution avenue and said we're from the church of scientology and one to see the commissioner. he was not really available at that moment but quickly was. they added interest to get this resolved. there may be good marriage for the reason the irs made the distinction that the church of scientology is a bonafide religion. i don't know what standards they use to determine a religion, but in any case case, the trade-off was the suits stopped and the exemption was granted and once that happened, the vast privileges and protections
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of first amendment guarantees surrounded the church of scientology and protected it until this day. those events all took place in washington d.c.. i just thought i would give you historical background before i invite you to respond with questions. thank you. [applause] >> can you speculate to the future of david? he seems to be such a debilitating person with the people of hierarchy and some ordinary people who have helped him for so many years >> yes. i am not the first to talk about this but i have had 12
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people tell me that david physically assaulted them for i have more than 20 witnesses. he was not the only one insider church beating people up but he is the head of the church at church for it is quite remarkable to think that behavior can go on and some of the people who were beaten and others were confined there are reeducation camps and in different locations especially in the desert compound with the clergy of scientology had the quarter's on the compound there are two double wide trailers and married together. at one point* david decided he would start sending
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top-level executives there for reeducation all the furniture is taken out, they slept on the floor with sleeping bags only allowed out once a day for a shower and during that time what is the crimes and what is going the wrong there was a lot more than 100 people at one point* the top tier of management was come to find -- confined to this had gone on for years my friend could tell you stories of interviewing him years ago
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but he has been locked up seven years. i speak as an image -- amateur but my understanding of the 501c3 that the church was given, there are layers of accountability and responsibility. one entity is accountable to the next but if one can put the others into a double wide trailer for years on end i know there is any other that has any power in the church of scientology. i think the churches of a crisis point* headed for a reckoning and if david is not willing to come forward to confront his accusers and they have a responsibility to address those abuses.
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and to charge those celebrities to promote scientology with that duty because nobody else has done more to bring people into scientology. they have a definite responsibility to understand what is going on. >> 1989 hernandez vs. irs ruled the basic form of fund-raising if fixed donation was not income-tax deductible item. october 1993 evidently it has been alleged independently of the organization irs that normally gave tax exemptions overruled the u.s. supreme court and gave them the tax
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deduction. power in the world could the irs overrule a judgment of u.s. supreme court? >> you're obviously better qualified to answer that than i am. [laughter] of the also awarded the church to power to determine which of its own entities are tax exempt i have been seeking the power of myself. [laughter] hubbard wrote novels and those are also tax-exempt. nothing to do with the churches scripture but capacious judgment given to the church all of that falls under the new jurisdiction of religious the literature. >> but before he disappeared indicated publicly they had spent $1 million investigating the ira's before that was given.
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who follows up on that in the structure? >> first of all, when you have a situation like that, it is the ideal place for the investigative reporter to go in and. i had many of the same questions about scientology. the windows need to reopen and progress have tried as much as i can i got a little cooperation from the churches self but awareness in the public and demand public officials we know more about it are called for >> have you personally been intimidated by scientology? i heard 20 years ago a time reporter that wrote a story
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in had to change his name because his life became intolerable and they prevented or if they prevented the publication of your book in england. talk about people disappearing and held against there will wear is the justice department or another branch looking into that? >> remind me if i don't hit every point*. know, i just had legal letters. i am not intimidated by them my last book was about al qaeda. [laughter] one thing i have learned of guided doesn't have lawyers, if they did they revere real dangerous organization.
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the u.k., yes, it is tear my british publisher backed out. it shows that my american publisher has a lot of courage and willing to withstand all the shots across about we have been receiving. i am very grateful to have that kind of support. i have then asked by the international writers' organization to go to britain to talk to members of parliament about their libel laws which all are foreclosure and many cases the flow of information to people who might really need the information about the organization that could be dangerous. i and stand their stance but we will do what we can to change chipper i'm hoping to find another british publisher who was willing to
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do that. while i was doing my story for the day yorker i stumbled across the fbi investigation their line of attack was human trafficking having to do with prostitution but to the fbi agents were looking into the gold base in the circumstances people held against there will children being recruited into the organization the young ages and taken out of school and impoverished are all questions the fbi had but the court ruled that these are religious practices and
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this is religious discipline in terms of the church and the fbi ran up the white flag but according to one source they were thinking of doing a raid on the gold based motion detectors, high fences but favor going to break-in and go into the hole and liberate everyone. they got so far to think david would try to escape in tom cruise is airplane so they got the tail numbers of tom cruise airplane to make sure he did not go away. [laughter] but if you were to open the door to the whole to say you are free they would say we are here of our own well that is why this of title is scientology, hollywood, & the prison of belief" there
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will hold some there more than anything. >> did you come across a dollar amount hubbard sent out? it seems there's always money coming in but it doesn't go anywhere. >> there is a lot of money in scientology. when hubbard left the church they did not have that much. he had a lot of money and it was transferred to his individual accounts but to when they had a huge liability to the ira's they did not have that much money in their coffers they do know according to former members $1 billion of assets and offshore accounts the catholic church with part-time to come up with $1 billion cash. it is a testament to the devotion of the members and
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the fund-raisers being able to amass that amount of money. whether or not to they have money, of what they really need is members in the future of the church will depend on its ability to bring people into the church and i think they're feeling. >> are there other movie stars other than tom cruise that have become involved and why movies stars might be attracted? many years ago growing up in another country i had a friend whose brother disappeared, do people still disappear into this organization? is there no legislation at
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all? >> will start with the ship. in the mid-60s hubbard created a little scientology armada and they sailed the mediterranean and caribbean and the young people he hired to be the crew, young psychologist were called this the organization that became the clergy. if your friend went into that he probably became a member and may have gotten closeted in one of the compounds. they're not encouraged to deal with the outside world so that maybe what happened. for celebrities, the church of scientology was designed for celebrities. it was founded in los
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angeles, the celebrity center is in hollywood, one of the major landlords of all hollywood and early on the church published a list of prospective celebrities for the church of scientology. hubbard wanted exemplary figures to be pitchmen and the names were bob hope, walt disney, though long west of the most notable people in the '50s. people did go and. gloria swanson, former silent movie star then came back in such glory joined the church of scientology, rock hudson made a brief appearance in his early days, -- -- names like stephen boyd and karen
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black but the big fish, the transforming figure eluded capture. the first of the biggest was john travolta. his is an exemplary story itself. you was troubled young actor during his first movie in mexico and became friends of an actress and she decided to give him a copy of dianetics she was an scientology and gave him their pay and he went exterior with the out of body experience and it made a huge impression on him. when he came back to los angeles he started taking courses at the celebrity center.
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one day he told his teacher he was trying calls for a role in will come back cotter purpose of the teacher had everybody in the class orient themselves to abc studios telepathically send the message john travolta is right for the part, and he got the part for after that he'll said scientology put him into big-time. i have some concerns about travolta of brings up the story that rethink what of my sources is a delightful woman fed joined the church when she was a teenager and because of her charm and bubbly nature was assigned to help will -- young actors and one was john travolta who just began to have this first of fame and is hard
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for him to handle and stinky help him through and his mother died and he really leaned on her. stinky had a little girl and she was pregnant and a friend of hers was dying and she felt the church was not taking care of her and putting three and was sent to an old hospital on the edge of hollywood a big blue building with the big yellow sign of scientology and old hospital there's so many people crowded into the patient rooms that spanky was put up on the roof was a soggy mattress and was pregnant eating slot that of a bucket. she is in hollywood for you
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can see sunset boulevard and mention the contrast and her baby is taken from her to scientology child care were there's only one woman overlooking dozens of children. at one point* spanky went to see her baby vanessa and she had whooping cough and eyes were glued shut with mucus and spanky thought she could die and she was pregnant and thought she was lose her baby as well. at this point* members came to her and asked if she could get a print of saturday night fever from travolta and the deal was she agreed to call travolta
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assistant he said he would give her the print the only one left but the deal was he had not heard from her for months he did not know what was wrong bases suspected but the deal is i want to have dinner with you. okay the executives agreed they get the print then she is taken and forced to call and breaks the date and he sent her flowers but i have to say what did he know about his friend who had taken care of him? she finally made an escape calling travolta as assistant to pick her up as she would take her daughter for medical treatment and jumped in the car and fled but i still wonder if people like john travolta and tom cruise stand up and say what a great place scientology is
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if they remember those locations toward college the abuses taking place right under their noses. >> you are fascinating of your writing. why isn't there any police reports with the abuse when people get on the freeway they take their passports a way, no money, and nowhere to go. a show on tv this week about a pregnant woman forced to live in a parking garage while she was pregnant. why after they defect don't they report this? and why do people stay even though they are mistreated? >> they are tied together. let me put you in the mind frame of someone who has
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been abused in the desert compound. if you are that person suppose you joint when you were a child or maybe you were born into a. probably many family members are all of them are members of the church. your whole society is composed of people like you and you don't have any education to speak of. your impoverished and pay $50 a week. when you become a member of this reorganization you are given to shirts and two pairs of pants as a life time allotment. of other needs come out of the many -- many not have much contact with the
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outside world and are taught to be very suspicious of it. non sinologist has a slur that was used for south asians but it was adopted for the of non scientology is but wog justice is something you wouldn't even if you were abused you would walk to the front door leading family and friends of the did make a choice your also given a bill a freeloaders tab and a bill for all the services you might have been getting during that period of time and typically it is hundreds of thousands of dollars. your bank account probably
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is not that flushed and made to sign a confession of crimes you supposedly committed in case you ever say anything against the church they will have the document i have seen it to be used against you. if you decide to run away and you can get outside and is gave us a number of people have, they will go after you to try to bring you back. i talked to the guy who was in charge they called it the of below drilled they can call airlines and persuade them their relatives, medical emergencies, find out what flite and send people out to sit outside a relative's house is and monitor them. they usually get you before
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you get far but they know so much about you they have all your financial information, the one guy what really got him he was well known for his love of baseball and picked them up in the san francisco giants parking lot it is very difficult to break away. >> one theme is follow the money and for plaintiffs in side to bring a suit. just recently a couple named garcia filed suit for $400,000 for fraud naming various scientology organizations by name. supposedly with contractual basis for their suit. to what extent will this be
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a way for the organization to face a new reality it is not an individual trying to break free but going after the many which is important to scientology and david? >> this is an organization that has flared up. i talked to one of the lawyers who created the architecture, a bureaucratic architecture there are so many discreet compartments it is impossible to break the bank for each one as isolated from the other. i met garcia and his wife and i wish them well. i think it is a formidable task to take down scientology. and passed to take itself down.
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somebody inside, the reason i take on a the celebrities and assign them this responsibility the executives have been locked up for so long they have no power. the only power anybody has to affect change are the front men that you constantly see and i charged them with a changing the church. >>, its fidelity is there in the movie the master? >> i love the master a lot of people don't agree with me it is a skier maybe because of my reading of all ron hubbard's work it was more interesting to me i thought the performances were compelling and i thought hoffman was a very plausible reincarnation of
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the zero ron hubbard and you could see the charisma and contradictions in his personality that may covered such a charismatic and compelling figure to right about. there were actually bits of dialogue in the movie that in my books that sources that i used that turned up in the lips of the characters so yes there was fidelity that way but it is elusive and does not intend to via sacked -- exact depiction but the personalities. >> were there any meaningful serious efforts to challenge the 501c3 exemption? >> no.
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>> with those alleging it abuses that you mention in your book you say these sullen -- scientology organization does not believe the see organization leadership when-issued have babies but it denies it has ever pressured any pregnant woman to have an abortion but your book also says that numbers of pregnant women have said to you and others said they have been pressured by scientology organizations -- organization to have the abortion they did not want to have saw how specific party allegations of the pressure or house pacific are the denials of the particular contention have do drift -- drawn a conclusion? >> a lot of women were told
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to have abortions and men who said their wives were pushed to have abortions it is not just women who feel the loss. some of those people are out now and will never have families. they messed that opportunity. it is a tragic thing but the leverage the church uses there used to be children there would have them on the ship and hubbard had a theory that children are not different from adults they are just small. [laughter] therefore they should be treated as you retreat and adults so when a child misbehaves he came up with one punishment was to put them in the chain locker for the anchor is stored it is
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cold and dark and they would be said that not allowed out to go to the bass ever go to sleep but put in there for days or weeks he actually put a deaf girl down they're hoping she would regain her hearing. the treatment of children became a huge issue early on and then it was decided we can't have kids here. there was a ranch they built their own dormitories and gave themselves schooling with very little adults supervision. it came to pass the decision was made no more kids that if you get pregnant you have the choice, you could leave the sea-org with the consequences losing your ties tear families and very
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little to look forward to and the sense of losing eternal salvation or the send off to a remote location. in the face of that a lot of people chose to have the abortion they go to county health and charge it to the taxpayer. >> the allegation the pressure to have the abortion or to get your wife is a specific? what about the denials? of a specific either the person was not in scientology? the person during the pressure wasn't? >> the allegation of the abortion are individual husband's tell me this happened to me, and uc in
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court suits they specified things like that the churches response is categorical we don't do that. >> i read a couple of your articles and another book about scientology but it comes across as of benevolent figure the way he pushed himself to leadership by has she really did natured scientology in the evil way or zero is what he doing from the principles instilled by all ron hubbard? >> david and l. ron hubbard are different and one way which is david corrupt in scientology and killed one hubbard did not. you cannot say david is not
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a creation of scientology because he joined as it young teenager and joined the sea-org at 16 after dropping out of high school his entire adult life has been lived inside this organization. he is a manifestation of that. although many axis members think he a stake in the church away from their original teachings. every religion and faces the existential moment when the founder dies. whether brigham young or christ or whenever either their religion will survive because of the successor or perish because the charismatic founder is gone. david did save scientology
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when he got the tax exemption and the church would not exist if not for that. however the church is in disarray in part because of the behavior he has exhibited according to my sources. it is now time for the church to examine them. >> can you talk about the hatred of psychiatry? >> psychiatry you can say it dries them that's. [laughter] negative -- drives them nuts [laughter] hubbard thought he would be claimed by the psychiatric association and they laughed at him.
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and the viewpoint of scientology -- scientists it is full car were the studies he cites but no evidence it exist and his intuition to imagine human behavior was something in the field of psychiatry when tom cruise
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jump down that flowers throat of about broke shields and said you know, the history of psychiatrists he refers to that, hubbard's belief of 4 trillion years ago which the scientology calendar that psychiatrists were there. [laughter] and when they evil galactic overlord to is responsible for so much damage, he was surrounded by psychiatrists and they came up with a plan because they were over
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populated in the galaxy at the time to bring in a the population supposedly for tax audits. [laughter] then they put them in the rocket ship to the planet which was ours and drop them in volcanoes and blow them up with nuclear bombs and capture the disembodied spirit and reeducate those spirits by putting them in front of movie screens to show them images of england and thoughts of jesus and the catholic church and that is where we come from but it is psychiatrists that is behind all this. so that is the relationship of the church of scientology and psychiatry. [laughter] thank you very much. [applause] if
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